Appearances

Appearances

by Joanne Greenberg
     
 

In its nuanced portrait of a middle-aged suburbanite and his family, APPEARANCES challenges easy assumptions about the nature of kinship and selfhood, of crime and punishment, of appearance and reality.

Steven Howe-Boomer, lawyer, family man-has settled into midlife contentment. Then, unexpectedly, Steven finds himself doubly shaken by something that a data search

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Overview

In its nuanced portrait of a middle-aged suburbanite and his family, APPEARANCES challenges easy assumptions about the nature of kinship and selfhood, of crime and punishment, of appearance and reality.

Steven Howe-Boomer, lawyer, family man-has settled into midlife contentment. Then, unexpectedly, Steven finds himself doubly shaken by something that a data search uncovers. Steven's father, Alonzo "Lon" Howe-long assumed to have died in 1958-is, in fact, still alive. And he is incarcerated in the Colorado State Penitentiary, two hours' drive south of where Steven lives in Denver. What follows is a series of revelations that shake Steven's perceptions of himself, his family, and his marriage.

Unafraid of risking controversy in the pursuit of insight into the human condition, APPEARANCES is Joanne Greenberg's finest, most challenging, and most compassionate novel.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Greenberg's (I Never Promised You a Rose Garden) latest novel starts out promisingly enough. We are introduced to Steven, a successful lawyer in his 50s with a loving wife, three grown children, and three old cronies who meet monthly for lunch. But Steven's comfortable life is shattered when his mother dies and he discovers that his father, who supposedly died in 1958 when Steven was eight years old, is still alive-in jail. At the same time, Steven's daughter, who everyone just labeled as clumsy, is found to have a rare degenerative disease that is causing her to go blind. The major problem with this slow-moving novel is the lack of substance in any of the one-dimensional characters. The reader never really cares about Steven, who comes across as rather cold. And his children are stereotypical upper-middle-class siblings: the son who can't find himself, the daughter who is going to fight bravely this disease. Greenberg's point, judging by her heavyhanded title, is that appearances can be deceiving. Will this family, who have always been on the receiving end of goodness, survive these crises? The major question though is, do readers really care? For larger public libraries only.-Marianne Fitzgerald, Annapolis, MD Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781932727036
Publisher:
Montemayor Press
Publication date:
01/28/2006
Pages:
268
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.61(d)

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